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Re: Juice Boxes

Juiceboxes (aka drinkboxes aka aseptic packaging) were a flashpoint in
solid waste politics for much of the early to mid-1990s because they
displaced otherwise conventionally recyclable beverage containers.  The
industry responded to public objections and threats of local bans by
starting and, I think, sometimes subsidizing recycling pilot projects.  It
turns out that the paper in juice boxes is composed of high quality fiber,
making it a valuable secondary material.  And the paper is readily
separated from the other constituents through hydropulping.  While I have
not followed this issue closely for several years, my understanding is that
the problem for economic feasibility of juice box recycling was quantity --
that the tonnage of juice boxes was too small to amortize the cost of
collection/sorting or other capital investment.  One strategy was to add
polycoated gabletop milk cartons (aka cardboard milk cartons) to the mix.
I know that Resource Recovery Systems, a recycling processor (MRF operator)
of central Connecticut recycled juices boxes (860-767-7057).  I don't know
if they still do so.

One resource for info on this topic is the Aseptic Packaging Council
You should also get the perspective of a municipality that has worked on
this issue.  Try posting a notice to the RECYCLE listserv or contacting the
National Recycling Coalition <http://www.nrc-recycle.org>

Good luck with your effort.

Reid Lifset

At 09:17 AM 4/6/99 -0400, you wrote:
>In response to an inquiry from one of my colleagues in the PA Department of
>Environmental Protection, we are seeking an alternative to landfilling juice
>boxes from a processor in Pennsylvania.  
>To describe the producers' situation, the firm: 
>	-	purchases the boxes pre-printed and in a long continuous "
>	-	folds the bottom of the box prior to filling with juice,
>	-	dispenses the juice into the box and seals it.
>	-	However, a few boxes fold improperly and are rejected.  
>The boxes are seven layers of paper, plastics and metal.  The juice
>processor has adopted quality control measures to reduce the numbers of
>reject boxes.  The food processor would like to find a recyclerr in PA or in
>a state bordering southern or eastern PA if possible.  There is not enough
>tonnage of waste boxes to transport for any distance.  One suggestion is to
>find out if the pre-printed carton manufacturer sends rejected lots to a
>recycler.  Perhaps the carton manufacturer can accept returned clean boxes
>to send to its recycler.
>Another waste is heavy cardboard-like cores that hold the preprinted box
>paper.  These are about 8 inches long and are very dense.  Will these
>recycle?  Since these contact cood cartons, I am not sure the cores would be
>able to be reused by the pre-printed box manufacturer. 
>Of course other waste reduction suggestions would be presented to the
>processor as well.  
>	Jo Anne Hollash	PA DEP - OPPCA  	15th FL, RCSOB	P. O. Box
>8772	Harrisburg, PA 17105-8772
>	Voice   717-787-0121	Fax   717-783-2703	E-mail
>	Please visit our Web Site:   http://www.dep.state.pa.us
>Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting.  We allow them
>to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value.
>--	Buckminster Fuller

Program on Solid Waste Policy
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Yale University
205 Prospect Street
New Haven,CT 06511-2189  USA
203-432-3253 (telephone)
203-432-5912 (fax)